They only come around once a year, but they’re a major event on the calendar for most film buffs. Almost 30 million people from around the world made the time to watch the Oscars in 2019. If current trends continue, this year’s Academy Awards should be even bigger.
What many film fans don’t know is that it’s possible to cash in on your knowledge. How so? By betting on the Oscars! I found out that several of the UK’s top bookmakers are offering odds on some of the most popular Oscar categories.
This is my guide to betting on the Oscars in 2020. I’ll show you what to bet on, the current odds at popular bookmakers, how to bet on the Oscars, and more.
How Does Betting on the Oscars Work?
The good news is that it’s not complicated. You can place a wager in exactly the same way as you would on a football game, boxing match, or any other sporting event.
For example, right now most bookies have 1917 as the favourite to win Best Picture. Betway is offering odds of 8/13 on this. For beginners, that means that if you bet £13 on 1917 to win Best Picture, you’ll win £8.
No matter which UK betting site you choose to place your wager at, it will almost certainly follow a similar process to this:
You make a deposit of however much you want to bet.
Make your selection from the various categories.
Your wager will then appear on the bet slip. Enter the amount you want to bet.
You’ll see an automatic calculation of your profits and losses.
Confirm the bet, and within seconds, it will be live.
Experienced punters will recognize that this is how all bets work. However, I wanted to cover this again as I know events like the Oscars attract a lot of first-time punters. At GamblingSites.org, we aim to help everyone understand betting from beginners to advanced.
What Bets Can You Make on the 2020 Oscars?
There are many different categories within the Oscars. Most of the betting action happens on the big four:
However, there are also opportunities to profit by betting on categories which don’t necessarily grab all the headlines.
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best Costume Design
Best Animated Feature Film
Best Original Song
Best Foreign Language Film
And many other categories
Most casual punters will focus on the four big ones mentioned first. However, if you’re a serious film fan, it’s worth exploring some of the bets in the lesser-known categories.
I’m going to walk you through the odds on the big four categories. Since this is where most of the action happens, it makes sense to focus on them.
Best Picture Nominees for the 2020 Oscars
When it comes to great films, it tends to be either a famine or a feast. Recently, some of the best movies in years have graced our screens.
War movies always pull the heartstrings. It’s difficult to imagine what brave men and women sacrificed for us in the past. 1917 is set during World War I, and the plot is epic. Two soldiers have to travel behind enemy lines to deliver a message to save 1,600 of their fellow soldiers, including one of their brothers.
This movie is touted to rack up multiple Oscars this year. It’s been nominated in lots of categories and could well perform a clean sweep.
Right now, Betway is offering competitive odds on 1917 to win Best Picture at 8/13.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Tarantino films always deliver something unique and twisted. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is set in Hollywood in the 1960s and follows actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Brad Pitt) in the twilight of Dalton’s career. It just so happens that they live next to Sharon Tate of Manson Family fame, setting the stage for a Tarantino classic.
William Hill is offering 5/1 odds on this film snatching the Best Picture award. Can it beat 1917? We’ll have to wait and see, but at these odds, it’s probably worth a small wager
Every now and then, an epic South Korean movie bursts into the mainstream and leaves its mark (who could forget Oldboy?) Parasite is a dark comedy thriller in which a young, poor Korean forges his credentials as an English tutor to scam a rich family.
When he succeeds, the rest of his family follow suit, forging their own credentials to get jobs with the wealthy Park family. The film plays on themes of wealth disparity while entertaining with plenty of near-misses and a potentially fatal secret.
Both William Hill and Betway are offering 10/3 odds on Parasite to win the Best Picture Oscar. Can a Korean film win? We’ll have to see. It already made history by winning a Palme d’Or award, as it was the first Korean film to do so.
The ultimate bad guy of DC Comics is The Joker, and this film is the story of how he came to be. It tracks the slow but steady descent into madness of Arthur Fleck, a failed comedian and clown in Gotham City. So far, this film has provoked extremely strong reactions. People either love it or despise it. Either way, most agree that it is the performance of Joaquin Phoenix’s career to date.
Out of all the UK bookmakers we approve, you’ll find the best odds on this at Betway. They’re offering 14/1 on Joker to win Best Picture.
Fans of gangster films have waited a long time for Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci to get back together on the silver screen. They got their wish late last year with the release of The Irishman. This film is set in the 1950s and follows Frank Sheeran, as he slowly works his way up the ranks of Russell Bufalino’s crime family. Eventually, he starts to work for Jimmy Hoffa, a powerful labour union figure with deep links to the mob.
Bet365 is offering 50/1 odds on The Irishman to scoop the Best Picture nomination. As those odds imply, it’s nowhere near the favourite, but there have been a few surprises in the Oscars before, so this could be worth a wager.
There are a few other entrants in this category. JoJo Rabbit, Marriage Story, Little Women, and Ford v Ferrari have all received nominations. Their odds range from 80/1 to 200/1. Nobody is giving them much of a chance, but as the Oscars surprises section below illustrates, this is truly an event where anything can happen. You just never know.
2020 Oscars Nominees and Betting Odds for Best Actor
Since many of the nominations are linked to the films mentioned above, I’m going to present these sections in easy-to-read table formats.
Note: When I say “best odds” below, I mean potentially most profitable for you as a bettor. I have only considered the odds at bookmakers which we approve of and trust at GamblingSites.org.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Pain and Glory
The Two Popes
As you can see, it looks like Joaquin Phoenix has been all but handed the award. However, that doesn’t mean that a longshot bet isn’t worth it. Check out the Oscar surprises and upsets section below before you write the other nominees off. There are more than a few surprises in the Best Actor category.
Nominees for Best Actress for the 92nd Academy Awards
Sticking with the above format, I’ve presented the nominations for Best Actress in a table format. As with the table above, there’s a clear favourite, but that does not mean she’s going to win.
Betting on the favourite in this category is a bad bet. It will require greater risk than the potential reward. It wouldn’t be the first time that an unexpected victory has occurred for an actress who did not expect to win, so consider the longshot odds.
Best Director 2020 Oscars Nominees
Without talented directors, none of the on-screen talent could work their magic. The men and women who put it all together make the magic happen, and the Oscars is one of the few awards ceremonies where they get to step out into the limelight. Here are the nominees for this year.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
It is highly likely that the favourite will win this one. Scroll back up and look at the trailer above. It will be incredibly difficult to justify any other director winning this, but we can’t know for sure until the host opens the envelope and calls the name of the winner.
The Greatest Oscars Upsets of All Time
I’ve mentioned several times throughout this article that you shouldn’t be afraid of making wagers on seemingly unlikely events. In fact, if there was ever a time to bet on an unlikely scenario, it’s the Oscars.
Here are five of the most surprising upsets in the history of the Academy Awards. Unfortunately, I don’t have data on the odds of these events, but we can guess that if anyone wagered on them, they made solid returns.
In 1994, 11-year-old Anna Paquin won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She beat Hollywood heavyweights like Winona Ryder and Emma Thompson to win the award for her role in The Piano.
Back in 1940, most film critics expected Judy Garland to win Best Actress for her role in A Star is Born. Instead, she lost to Grace Kelly for an unremarkable role in The Country Girl. Most agreed that this was her least impressive performance of the year, yet she won the ultimate award in film for it.
If you were up against Al Pacino and Jack Nicholson for Best Actor, you’d probably expect to be defeated. Yet, in 1975, Art Carney beat them both when he starred in Harry and Tonto.
Likewise, if you were up for Best Actor against Jack Nicholson and Daniel Day-Lewis, you’d probably count yourself out. However, in 2003, Adrien Brody shocked the world when he won the award for his role in The Pianist. Judging by his reaction, he was more surprised than anyone else.
Another Best Actor upset was when Roberto Benigni beat Tom Hanks and Edward Norton back in 1999 for his role in Life Is Beautiful. Norton and Hanks had been nominated for their roles in American History X and Saving Private Ryan This is probably the most surprising upset of all on this list.
Hopefully, these examples have shown you that it’s by no means already decided who will win. It all depends on who the members vote for. If you think Joaquin Phoenix is 100% sure to win Best Actor, you may want to think again.
So, are you ready to bet on the Oscars? Pick one of our approved UK betting sites and get on it today. Time is running out!
Based out of London, I began freelance writing for the UK section of GamblingSites.org in October of 2019. Having worked in the gambling industry for over 10 years, I now have the pleasure of adding this site to my list of accomplishments as a casino writer. ...
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